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Mainstream parties tell ECI: Hold Lok Sabha, Assembly polls simultaneously

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Srinagar, Mar 4: The mainstream political parties in J&K pitched for holding Lok Sabha and Assembly polls simultaneously in the state as they deliberated on the matter with a high-level delegation of the Election Commission of India (ECI) that arrived in Kashmir on a two-day visit on Monday.

Led by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Sunil Arora, the team comprised of Election Commissioners, Sushil Chandra and Ashok Lavasa, Deputy Election Commissioner, Sandeep Saxena, Director General ECI, Dilip Kumar, ADG Sheyphali Sharan, and Director Nikhil Kumar.

 

In Srinagar, the team met the representatives of regional parties at a local hotel here to get feedback about holding the parliamentary and assembly polls. The parties said that democratic process should be resumed in the state, while pitching for simultaneously polls.
Ali Mohammad Sagar, who led the delegation of National Conference, said that his party is in favour of holding simultaneous parliamentary and assembly polls.

“Some parties want postponement of assembly polls for their political interests,” Sagar told reporters after meeting the ECI team. Senior NC leaders Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan and Nasir Aslam Wani were part of the delegation.

“The Governor arbitrarily issuing orders for change in rules and recommend amendments in the constitution. It is necessary that both polls are immediately held in the state. When urban local bodies and panchayat polls were held, there is no reason for postponing of assembly elections. The ECI credibility is at stake if polls are not held,” Sagar said.

He said that a “conducive environment” has to be created in the state. “But there is misgovernance and everyone is being project as a militant,” Sagar added.

The Congress delegation was led by Taj Mohiuddin, who too said that his party wants simultaneous assembly and parliamentary elections.

He said the situation was “similar to 1996, 2008 or 2014”.“If assembly elections are deferred as demanded by BJP leader Ram Madhav then it will be a credibility test for ECI. If ECI succumbs then only God save the nation,” Taj said. He was accompanied by Usman Majid.

He said that the elected governments have “dealt with militancy in a better way”.

“It was a myth that Governor Rule will eliminate militancy. Assembly polls have to be held so that there is a democratic government in the state,” the Congress leader said.

Abdul Rehman Veeri, who led the PDP delegation, said that delay in holding of assembly polls will hamper the “process of improvement”.
“The Governor rule is for a temporary period. Free and fair polls have to be held,” Veeri said. He also criticised the government for banning and arresting Jamaat-e-Islami leaders.

Hakeem Yaseen, Ghulam Hassan Mir, and M Y Tarigami also pitched for holding simultaneous polls in the state.

The state assembly was dissolved by Governor Satya Pal Malik on November 21 last year citing the “impossibility of forming a stable government by the coming together of political parties with opposing political ideologies” and the “fragile security scenario in the state”.

The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has a six-year term while other assemblies and the Lok Sabha have a five-year term. Its term was to end on March 16, 2021.